Sharing knowhow and joining forces towards Health for All

MMI Network News, April 2009

photo: Cordaid
photo: Cordaid

Editorial: See you in Geneva!

Dear reader,

There are many good reasons for joining us in Geneva in May, when the Medicus Mundi International Network will meet for its Annual General Assembly 2009 and for a series of side events. 

The Annual Assembly itself (21st May) will focus on the adaptation of a first “MMI Network Policy”, a basic document of our Network which clearly states who and what MMI is (an NGO Network), how we see our particular role in international health cooperation and networking, what we concretely do (and what we do not…), who are our members and partners, and what membership in the MMI network means.

The day before already (20th May) MMI and its member organisation Cordaid invite you to a technical meeting organized as a side event to the 62nd World Health Assembly. The meeting will allow interested WHA delegates and other participants to obtain an insight into some experiences on human resources retention initiatives in the private not-for-profit sector and to discuss implications of these experiences for the future. 

In a lunch event between our Assembly and EB meeting, we will launch the MMI report “Contracting between faith-based and public health sector in Sub-Saharan Africa: An ongoing crisis?”, the result of a study conducted for the Medicus Mundi International Network by the Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp (ITM), and including cases from Cameroon, Uganda, Tanzania and Chad. 

The Executive Board meeting will be an occasion to meet the researchers of the Medical Mission Institute Würzburg who undertake for Medicus Mundi International a survey on the results of our Network’s involvement in catholic Bishops conferences.
So, as you see there is no really good reason for not joining us in Geneva in May.

See you there!

Thomas Schwarz, Executive Secretary
Medicus Mundi International


MMI Network Events: What’s up

MMI Network Event: Cordaid
Civil Society Health Forum "Equity, Justice and Health"
Geneva, 15-16 May 2009

WCC | ”A group of civil society organizations is organizing a civil society health forum in Geneva, preceding the 62nd World Health Assembly (WHA). The forum will focus on issues related to Social Determinants of Health and Primary Health Care as ways of responding to global health inequities. The purpose of the forum is to bring together a diverse representation of civil society to discuss and adopt effective strategies for improving people's health globally using ‘the rigth to health’ and ‘health equity’ approaches. One of the objectives is to strenghten an advocacy platform for promoting these approaches and to agree on key action to be pursued by CSOs during the World Health Assembly.” (The event which is actively supported by the MMI Network and co-organized by the Network member Cordaid will be attended by various Network representatives.)

MMI Network Event: MMI Network / Cordaid
Quest for Quality. Private not-for profit health institutions facing the human resources crises

Geneva, 20th May 2009

”Many health workforce initiatives have been designed to reduce health personnel attrition rates with emphasis on improving staff retention. MMI and Cordaid will present and discuss a number of initiatives that deal creatively with existing push factors piloted by the private not-for-profit sector.” (Invitation)

MMI Network Event: Organisation
Contracting between faith-based and public health sector in Sub-Saharan Africa: An ongoing crisis?
Château de Bossey, Geneva, 21st May 2009

MMI | ”In spite of the wide variety of contexts and experiences, the different case studies show that contracting between the State and faith-based district health sector has run into great difficulties. To make matters worse, there is no general awareness of the crisis, certainly not among the public sector actors. Unless correcting measures are taken, this almost hidden crisis risks to jeopardize in the medium-term the important contribution which the faith-based facilities make to the provision of care in Africa.” The contracting study will be released by Medicus Mundi International at a public side event to its Annual Assembly.

MMI Network Event
“Looking back. Going ahead” - MMI Annual General Assembly and EB Meeting
Château de Bossey, Geneva, 21st May 2009

As in the previous years, the Annual Assembly of the Medicus Mundi International Network will take place in Geneva. Please register now. Mainly if you like to attend our side event “Quest for Quality” at the World Health Assembly, we need to know this until 30th April 2009 as we have to communicate to the World Health Organization our list of delegates no later than 4th May. Also for the room reservation at Château de Bossey and for the preparation of our Assembly, your timely registration would be very helpful.

Network events on the MMI ePlatform:
Contribute: Announce your upcoming events on our ePlatform and in this newsletter!


Network News and Resources added to the MMI electronic platform

MMI Network News:
Results of MMMI’s involvement in catholic Bishops conferences
Survey carried out by the MI Würzburg

In early April, the Medicus Mundi International Network and the Medical Mission Institute Würzburg (MI) agreed that the Medical Mission Institute will undertake for MMI the survey on the results of MMIs involvement in catholic Bishops conferences in the months of April (May) to August 2009. The survey will be based on detailed Terms of Reference and on a list of audiences, both developed by the MMI STR working group. The survey will be undertaken by three public health consultants, all employed by the Medical Mission Institute:  Klemens Ochel, Marlies Reulecke, and Piet Reijer.
Network News:

MMI Network News: AGEH
AGEH celebrates 50th Anniversary

AGEH | The Association for Development Cooperation AGEH is the specialist agency of the German Catholics for international cooperation. This year, the oldest German personnel agency, founded in 1959 on the initiative of Catholic associations and organisations, celebrates its 50th Anniversary.
Network News:

MMI Network Paper: Cordaid
Quest for quality. Interventions to Improve Human Resources for Health among Faith-Based Organisations

Cordaid Partners | ”In order to deal more effectively with the current HRH crisis, Cordaid and its partners realise that it is critical to learn better from each other’s experiences. This publication is one of the results of Cordaid’s linking and learning programme. The objective is to describe and analyse HRH practices in order to draw lessons learned, leading to enhanced health services performance in under-served areas covered primarily by partner organisations of Cordaid. It is intended to be a tool for HR practitioners, managers of health care facilities at different levels in the health system and policy makers, especially those working for and with FBOs.” (S. Adjei et al., Quest for Quality. Interventions to Improve Human Resources for Health among Faith-Based Organisations. Cordaid/Royal Tropical Institute Amsterdam, 2009)
Network reports and papers:

MMI Conference Report: MM Switzerland
Making Health Interventions Work: From validation to application

STI | The 13th Symposium of the Swiss Tropical Institute held on 17th April 2009 focused on the development of health interventions and their translation in to practice. The symposium provided a platform for the exchange of expertise and practical experience on topics covering a wide range related to the path from validation. The Swiss Tropical Institute is a member of the Network Medicus Mundi Switzerland.
Network conference reports:

MMI Network Partners: CHAs
Africa Christian Health Associations held 4th Biennial Conference

ACHA website | ”The Africa Christian Health Associations held a very successful 4th Biennial Conference at the Speke Munyonyo Resort in Kampala, Uganda on 23-27th February 2009. The conference whose theme was ‘Building partnerships for health systems strengthening in Africa’ was attended by 76 participants from Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and USA. The key note address during the opening session was delivered by Canon Ted Karpf of WHO, Geneva who reiterated the important role that FBOs play in delivering primary health care services that promote equity and access to the poor and vulnerable in Africa.” (The conference was attended and supported by Cordaid and Misereor, representing the MMI Network.)

Network news and resources on the MMI ePlatform:
Contribute: Publish your news and resources on our ePlatform and in this newsletter!


MMI Key Issues and Network Topics: Reports, Events, Resources

MMI Key Issue: Human Resources for Health
Increasing access to health workers in remote and rural areas through improved retention

WHO | ”On 2 February 2009, the World Health Organisation launched a new programme to increase access to health workers in remote and rural areas through improved retention. The programme is an integral part of the organisation's renewed efforts to strengthen health systems through a primary healthcare approach.”

MMI Key Issue: Global Health Advocacy
The UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health. A Guide for civil society

PHA-Exch | ”The International Federation of Health and Human Rights Organisations (IFHHRO) has developed a practical guide to aid civil society actors in becoming more involved in the work of the UN Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health (in short: ‘the right to health’). Throughout the Guide there is a specific focus on the valuable role that health workers can play. The Guide was launched on Wold Health Day, 7 April 2009”

MMI Key Issue: Traditional and local knowledge
Alternative and complementary medicine and HIV/AIDS | ”Alternative and complementary medicine is quite popular among people living with HIV. In relation to HIV, alternative therapies are most commonly used in areas where it is difficult to access Western medicine. In sub-Saharan Africa, for example, traditional healers outnumber medically qualified doctors eighty-to-one. Traditional healers also usually provide immediate treatment, whereas clinics may have lengthy waiting lists and tests for eligibility. The AVERT website provides a good overview and recent links.” (, April 2009)

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aidsfocus conference on cultural approaches to HIV and AIDS:

Key issues on the MMI ePlatform:
Contribute: Let us know about interesting resources and news to be published in this newsletter!

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